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CSA Boss Warns Of Misinformation Surge Ahead Of 2024 Elections3 min read

CSA Boss Warns Of Misinformation Surge Ahead Of 2024 Elections<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">3</span> min read</span>


The Director-General of the Cyber Security Authority (CSA), Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako, has issued a warning about the imminent danger posed by extensive misinformation and disinformation campaigns, as the country gears up for the 2024 general elections.

He is particularly concerned over the potential impact of such deceptive tactics on this year’s crucial general elections, calling for proactive measures to counteract these threats.

“The Authority sees this as a top priority for us as far as awareness creation is concerned, and I do believe the media will also look at it. The Authority will always provide expertise to throw more light on this so that at the end of the day, we can handle our elections, and whoever wins, wins being influenced by the policies of the particular party rather than propaganda which is now being manifested through digital platforms,” he said.

He said this on the side-lines of the West African Symposium On Sector Collaboration And Information Sharing.

In December, Ghana’s presidential elections will bring forth a new leader, as President Nana Akufo-Addo steps down following the conclusion of his constitutionally mandated second term.

With the 2020 elections closely contested and both parties holding an equal number of seats in Parliament, the 2024 presidential race between Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is anticipated to be fiercely competitive.

Against this backdrop, the Director-General stated that the proliferation of social media platforms and online communication channels has led to the widespread dissemination of false information, presenting significant challenges to the integrity of elections.

Warning of the likelihood of malicious actors, both domestic and foreign, exploiting these channels to spread misinformation and sow discord, the Director-General stressed the critical need to enhance cybersecurity measures and promote digital literacy among citizens.

These efforts are essential to combat the spread of deceptive content effectively and safeguard public trust in the electoral process, he added.

He called for collaboration between government agencies, tech companies, civil society organizations and the media to develop robust strategies for identifying and mitigating misinformation campaigns.

This comes at a time of increased scrutiny regarding the influence of social media platforms on public discourse and electoral outcomes. Concerns over the dissemination of false information, deepfakes, and coordinated disinformation campaigns have spurred demands for greater transparency, accountability, and regulation in the digital realm.

The West African Symposium

Touching on the West African Symposium on Sector Collaboration and Information Sharing among Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), Dr. Antwi-Boasiako highlighted the transformative impact of digitalisation on economies, governments and societies.

He added that a myriad of benefits are derived from this process.

However, he noted that as technology advances, so do cyber threats, underscoring the need for both state and non-state actors to cultivate the requisite skills, knowledge and infrastructure necessary to protect our digital ecosystems.

The symposium, he said, was organized against this backdrop to facilitate the exchange of ideas and enhance capacity building aimed at fostering a secure and resilient cyber ecosystem within the sub-region, Africa and globally.

Dr. Angel L. Hueca from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in the United States expressed optimism that the symposium would offer essential foundational support for the development of CERTs in West Africa. This support includes capacity-building engagements and the creation of necessary guiding documentation, among other initiatives.

The country’s CERT ecosystem has already benefited from trainings, such as “Creating and Managing CSIRTs” and “Foundations of Incident Management,” conducted in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

These sessions were facilitated by the SEI through the Security Governance Initiative (SGI).